18 October 2018 | Written by Scott Martin

The Perfect Family Weekend Away in Hahei

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Hahei is & Will Always be One of The Coromandel’s Most Precious Beach Settlements.

Not only does it home a picturesque beach with family-friendly waves, but is also close to a range of family activities for kids of all ages to keep busy and active while you create holiday memories together.

As insiders to the area, we’ll let you know where to stay, where to eat, what to see and our favourite family-friendly activities to help create long-lasting memories as a family. So sit back and relax, while we plan your ideal family getaway!

For those of you that have never been to Hahei, It’s a small coastal town in the Coromandel region situated between Whitianga & Hot water beach.

Hahei is as close as it gets to a laid-back family holiday in a coastal town that really embodies the old-school Kiwi summer feeling. Although small and quaint, there are some great shops and eateries to check out while exploring the area. In addition to the staples, Hahei is close to some incredible sights, such as Cathedral Cove & The Iconic Hahei General Store

The beach is incredibly family friendly as well! Sit back and relax on the sandy beach as your family plays in the water without the crashing waves of the west coast to worry you. The beach has cliffs on either side that block a lot of the wind, so it truly is a place to soak up the sun with the family while you work on your well-deserved tan.


We’ve put together an insider’s guide to your weekend away, focused on family-friendly places & activities to help inspire you for your next getaway.

Friday Image Tile

Make Your Way to Your Hahei Holiday Home
5:00pm – Onwards

If you’re heading away with your family for some well deserved R&R, we would 100% recommend heading down on the Friday afternoon/evening to the Coromandel region for two reasons. The first is that there is nothing better than waking up on a Saturday morning at the beach with the whole day ahead of you.  Secondly, it can often shorten the holiday by losing half a day to a stressful Saturday drive and can leave you tired when you arrive at your holiday home.

So moral of the story, make sure you head over to Hahei on the Friday night so you are all fresh and ready to enjoy the first day away together at the beach!

Check out these great places to stay in Hahei – we have a holiday home to suit every budget!

Saturday Image Tile

Gather the troops for family breakfast
8:00am – 9:00am

There is something special about starting the day together with a nutritious meal as well as being able to spend time all together talking about the day ahead.

In need of a coffee? Us too. Hahei Beach Cafe serves up Supreme coffee just the way we like it.

Explore The Township
9:00am – 10:00am

Hahei is jam-packed with eateries, stores and iconic buildings. Have a wander around the quaint township, before heading over to the iconic Hahei general store for picnic lunch supplies for your trip to Cathedral Cove!

Experience Cathedral Cove with the Family!
10:00am – 1:00pm

The carpark is just up the hill from the township so it doesn’t take long to get to the start of the walk. There is a carpark at the top that is normally pretty packed, and also charges $15 for parking! Insider tip: we would recommend parking somewhere near the town and taking the scenic walkway up to the Cathedral Cove track.

The walk itself is gorgeous, but note that is it a decent 30-45 min walk with some hills and steep terrain. So make sure to pack a lot of water and snacks to keep the family fuelled during the walk. There is heaps to see so you’ll be arriving at the Cove before you know it!

When you make it, you will be blown away with the rock formations! Make sure to give the family at least 30 mins to explore the area as there are some hidden gems along the beach. On the far right is a toilet and sink, for those nappy changes or young ones busting to go to the loo.

You’ll be glad you packed the picnic! Cathedral Cove is a truly magical place to sit back, relax and enjoy a picnic in holiday mode with the fam.

Near the toilets is a little waterfall, and if you follow the cliff face down to the water, you’ll find a gorgeous little cave that you and your family can walk into! When you’ve finished soaking up the sights, slowly make your way back to the township for some more Hahei adventures!


Refuel & Relax Back in Your Holiday Home
1:00pm – 2:30pm

As someone that has done this walk recently, the walk and sun really takes a lot of energy out of you. Head back into town and treat yourself for all that hard work with an ice cream from Coastal Co-op. Mmm-mm!

Cruise back to your Holiday House to relax in the shade with a good book, or maybe even an afternoon kip!

Head Down To The Main Beach!
2:30pm – 4:00pm

This is the part of the day when the family has a bit of freedom to relax, swim, build sand castles or explore the rock pools on either side of the main beach. Hahei Beach is a safe and sunny sheltered beach, with heaps of room to play on the golden sands. 

Work on your tan in the afternoon sun, and as dusk starts to fall, what better way to enjoy your Kiwi summer than with classic fish & chips on the beach! Hungri Hunter Gourmet Food Cottage is just a five-minute stroll away, and does seriously good food! Watching the sunset over the waves is a blissful way to end your first day in Hahei. Challenge the kids to a sandcastle building comp – winner gets ice cream!

Sunday Image Tile

Brunch Time With The Whānau
10:30am – 12:00pm

Brunch! – It’s not a Sunday in NZ without a good ol‘ Big Brekkie – cafe style. You had the epic coffee yesterday from Hahei Beach Cafe, and they do a damn good brunch too, which we highly recommend. After checking out of your Bachcare Holiday Home, head to one of the many cafes and eateries in the area. If you’re after a change of scene, The Pour House is a great family-friendly eatery in a cute spot.

Hot Water Beach!
12:00pm – 5:00pm

Head over to Hot Water Beach, only a 9-minute drive from Hahei township! Dig yourself your own spa as the geothermic springs well up hot water for a natural hot tub with the family. Kids love it and you can squeeze in a quick science lesson about New Zealand’s Geothermic activity.

If you’re up for it, keep the learning going at the southern end of Hahei beach, the Te Pare historic reserve is the site of an ancient Maori Pa (fortified village). Make sure to take it easy today though, you deserve it after the action-packed Saturday.


Home Time
5:00pm – Onwards

It’s time to brave the Sunday afternoon traffic as you head back home with the family. The kids should be knackered from all the activities over the last two days, so make sure to chuck on a CD that every loves and enjoy the drive back through the Coromandel to whenever you and your family call home.

Check out our Insider guide PDF below

Insider - Tips & Tricks Image


  • There are several scenic tracks on land adjacent to the reserve, including the 2hr return walk to Cathedral Cove track, which gives access to Gemstone and Stingray Bays, Mares Leg and Cathedral Coves.
  • Te-Whanganui-A-Hei Marine Reserve is a protected marine area of 9 square kilometres of coastline and outlying islands off Cathedral Cove on the Mercury Bay.  Only accessible by boat, kayak or foot, a day spent experiencing the rich and varied habitats of Te Whanganui-A-Hei offers unlimited opportunity for learning, fun and adventure.
  • Cathedral Cove Water Taxi provides a ferry service between Hahei and Cathedral Cove, every 30 minutes.  The journey takes 10 minutes and is bound to be the one of the most picturesque taxi trips you’re ever likely to take.


  • If you don’t have a shovel to use for Hot Water Beach, you can always hire one from Hotties Cafe.
  • The hot springs are only accessible at low tide however, more often than not, two hours each side of low tide will still provide you with an opportunity to dig your own spa.
  • Parking is available in three locations: The Main Beach carpark, Te Waiwai carpark and the Main Store carpark. Note, fees may apply at the Main Store carpark.


Have you visited Hahei and can recommend other activities in the area?

Let us know what you think in the comments below!


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